Have you ever wondered what it would be like to break the mold and begin a brand-new career in teaching, or experience a year abroad in a brand-new country? With a range of course options available, completing a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification is one of the most convenient ways to kick start a teaching career in a variety of marvelous locations abroad. Not only does the TEFL course provide you with specialist skills and knowledge needed for a successful career in teaching, it is extremely flexible and can be completed at your own pace.
What’s great about the TEFL course is that no previous experience or qualifications are required. Provided that you are fluent in English and over the age of 18, you can apply online through the TEFL website. The website also provides in-depth information and testimonials to help put you at ease and to let you know what to expect.
On the website, you will notice a variety of different TEFL course options available including online and in-class learning. If you are completing your TEFL at home before making your move abroad, an online course is an excellent choice, allowing the freedom to complete each module during your preferred hours. You also have the option of having a qualified tutor, who you can contact throughout the course. They will grade your assignments and provide valuable constructive feedback within one working day. The 60 hour and 120-hour TEFL courses are the most popular. The 60-hour course offers a great introduction to the basics of teaching and is more suitable for those looking at volunteering opportunities. The 120-hour course is the most popular choice for those looking to start a career in teaching, as most employers require a minimum of 100 hours TEFL certification. You may have also heard of TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) certificates, which are similar to TEFL certificates, but are more suitable for those wishing to pursue a teaching career either at home or abroad, as they cover both teaching English as a foreign language and as a second language. There are also longer courses available including Diploma courses, which offer a higher-level qualification. The website provides a great breakdown of each of the courses, so you can choose the best fit for you. It is also worth exploring job opportunities and the entry requirements in the country you wish to travel to before deciding on which course to go for.
Taking a new course can certainly be daunting, especially if you have no previous experience of teaching, but the TEFL course is designed with this in mind and provides structured units to help gradually build your knowledge without bombarding you with information. The courses cover not only English language skills, but also teach essential skills such as classroom management and teaching methodologies. If you already have some teaching experience, this is a great way to expand your existing knowledge, but equally, for brand new teachers, the course will give you the necessary tools required for your new career. For the 60- and 120-hour courses, you have up to 6 months to complete the course, allowing ample time for you to digest the information and thoroughly complete the tasks at a moderate pace. It is possible to complete the TEFL before the 6 months for anyone who is motivated and eager to embark on their next adventure sooner. Even for those with the desire to finish before the deadline, the course can still be completed at a steady and enjoyable pace, without the need for cramming information or rushing assignments. Personally, I opted for the 120-hour TEFL certificate and managed to complete it in about three to four months alongside my full-time job. You really can study bit by bit and do not need to set aside hours of your day for it!
As well as online courses, TEFL offers 4 week-long in-class courses which can be completed at many fantastic locations around the world. These practical courses provide intensive training and set you up for teaching English while also allowing you to explore and immerse yourself in a new culture. You are also provided with affordable and convenient accommodation, and this option is perfect for those seeking to venture abroad sooner and who prefer a more practical approach to learning. Another option for practical learning is the CELTA certification (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults), which also offers practical learning within the classroom setting and qualifies you to teach English both as a second and a foreign language to adults.
Another major benefit of the TEFL certification is the cost. There is no doubt that education can be very expensive, especially when considering a brand-new career. However, the cost of a TEFL ranges from $300 to $1300, with the most popular 120-hour course costing around $300 to $500. When compared with university courses, this is a much more cost-effective way of beginning a teaching career and gives you the freedom to try something new without breaking the bank. There are often promotions offering discounted prices on the TEFL website, and you can even complete the certification for free when starting a career with EF English First. After passing your interview, EF will sponsor your online TEFL course, giving you the peace of mind of a secured job and saving you hundreds of dollars!
One of the key things to remember is that the TEFL certificate equips you with the knowledge and tools, but you will find that your skills flourish once you are inside the classroom. It is natural for novice teachers to feel anxious about the prospect of standing up in front of a class, but as soon as you have taught your very first class, it instantly gets easier and your confidence will soar. When I began my teaching career in Hong Kong, I had no experience other than my TEFL, and I planned on teaching as temporary way of funding my year abroad. However, two years on and I am still here, currently working as a senior teacher and even training new teachers. Finding a supportive employer such as EF English Foundations, who will provide you with thorough on-the-job training, will also help to ease you into your new teaching role!
Completing a TEFL offers a fantastic opportunity for those wishing to start a new teaching career abroad at a very affordable price and within a flexible and convenient time frame. Whether you are looking to permanently relocate oversees, or simply try something different for a year, the life experience you can gain from teaching in a different country is truly invaluable.
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